When the CDC stays in its lane, it’s still a very useful agency

In 2020 and 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has alienated large swathes of Americans thanks to its ever-changing, frequently wrong, and invariably overreaching COVID pronouncements and edicts. However, when the CDC stays in its lane and focuses on protecting Americans from known risks, it still does a good job.

Several weeks ago, CDC alerted the Consumer Product Safety Commission to a serious problem with a popular aromatherapy spray sold at Walmart locations across the country. The product was quickly recalled and removed from the shelves of the store:

Image from the CPSC warning.

The product is “Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones.”

The CDC’s investigations revealed that a rare bacteria, Burkholderia Pseudomallei, was in the product, which had infected four Americans, killing two.

A Georgia man contracted melioidosis, or “Whitmore’s disease,” which is found mostly in tropical climates and is reported about 12 times a year. Symptoms match a cold or the flu until they suddenly worsen and can become a blood infection.

The disease is serious, as the CDC’s guidelines show:

1.Stop using this product immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not throw away or dispose of the bottle in the regular trash.

2.Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top bags and place in a small cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.

3.Wash sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer; bleach can be used if desired.

4.Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have the spray on them with undiluted Pine-Sol or similar disinfectant.

5.Limit how much you handle the spray bottle and wash hands thoroughly after touching the bottle or linens. If you used gloves while handling the bottling or cleaning, wash hands afterward.

6.If you have used the product within the past 21 days and have fever or other melioidosis symptoms, seek medical care and tell your doctor you were exposed to the spray. If you do not have symptoms but were exposed to the product in the last 7 days, your doctor may recommend that you get antibiotics (post-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent infection.

The good news is that the CDC says person-to-person spread of melioidosis is exceedingly rare. Meanwhile, it continues to work to hunt down and obliterate melioidosis in America.

But this isn’t all the CDC has been doing to protect American citizens.

On October 21, it issued a food safety alert about a “Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Onions.” To date, 808 people have been made ill with an outbreak that covers 37 states and Puerto Rico. The number of cases is expected to grow as more illnesses are reported.

According to the CDC, the red, white, and yellow onions came from Chihuahua, Mexico, and may have been distributed by ProSource Inc., based in Hailey, Idaho. The onions were sold to restaurants and at grocery stores throughout the country. When it comes to the onions,

The C.D.C. also urged consumers to throw away any whole red, white or yellow onions they have at home that do not have a sticker or packaging indicating where they are from.

Consumers and businesses should also wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have been in contact with onions imported from Chihuahua and distributed by ProSource, the C.D.C. said.

And if you don’t know, let those onions go...into the garbage.

Salmonella is out there. On October 24, the CDC announced another Salmonella outbreak, this time in salami sold at Trader Joe's and other stores in the U.S. Be on the lookout for Citterio brand Premium Italian-Style Salame Sticks.

Image from the CDC. Public domain.

“Nine people were interviewed about foods they ate before getting sick, and eight reported eating or maybe eating this product,” the CDC says. “Investigators are still working to determine if additional products may be contaminated.”


The salmonella outbreak has reached 20 people in eight states, with three of the sick people hospitalized. The CDC breakdown says California has eight illnesses; Michigan and Minnesota have three each; Illinois has two; Kansas, New York, New Jersey and Virginia have one each.

And just a few days ago, the CDC recalled bagged lettuce for possible Listeria contamination.

As long as the CDC isn’t trying to control the American economy and individual liberty, the hard-working doctors and investigators at the CDC should be commended for their efforts to track down all possible threats to Americans’ health, no matter how small. Their website states, “As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health, safety, and security threats.”

Thank you, CDC!

Image: CDC Logo. Public domain.

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